2011-12 Outbound to
Creekside High School
Bartram Trail Rotary Club, District 6970, Florida
TBA, District 1911, Hungary
My name is Alayna Mobley and I just happen to be going on an amazingly
fantastic trip to study abroad in… wait for it… just a second more………
HUNGARY! :D I am 15 years old living in sunny Jacksonville, and
attending Creekside High School. By the time I leave for Hungary (I love
saying that) I will be 16. I’ve lived in Florida my whole life and love
being outside. Anything that’s adventurous and exciting is my kind of thing.
I’ve been traveling ever since I was in my momma’s belly (literally) haha.
Anyways some of the things I like to do in my spare time are read, hangout
with friends, boating activities, anything outdoors, and my main hobby is
heard about the Rotary Youth Exchange Program back in October when Jack
Murray came to my school to give a presentation on it. The second the
presentation was over I headed straight outside to call my Mom and ask if I
could do this. I knew this was for me. I had that feeling in the pit of my
gut that I had to do this. It was an awesome feeling and I was accepted as
you can see. I get the amazing chance to be able to learn another culture,
how they act there, their customs, celebrations, religion, a new language,
the second hardest language to learn at that! My mind is blown it’s so
But I would have
never gotten to this point if it weren’t for Rotary, my family, and friends.
Thank you Rotary and all of the Coordinators, chairs and officers (well
everybody helping out!) involved in District 6970 for helping me get to
where I am and where I’m going. I can’t thank you enough, although you’ll
probably hear it every time I see you guys! I would also like to thank my
family and friends for being so supportive of my decision to do this. I’m so
thankful of this incredible chance of a lifetime. Oh, and if you’re thinking
of applying to be an exchange student... DO IT! This is, as I said up there,
a chance of a lifetime! Take it in your hands and hold on to it. As I like
to say Carpe Diem (Seize the Day). Viszontlátásra! (Goodbye!)
Thursday, October 27, 2011
So it’s been one month and nine days since I stepped off the Air France
plane onto Hungarian soil. Since I first saw my host family, smiles,
balloons and all, waiting for me at the airport. And what I can say about
Hungary is that it’s amazing, incredible, fascinating, and every good
imaginable word you can think of! But saying all of those would be an
understatement. The feeling of living here and being here is indescribable.
I feel like I fit right in with the culture, people, and language! But don’t
get me wrong, I definitely experienced culture shock. During my first week
here I went for a walk. To explore.(: I was walking down the sidewalk,
coming up to an elderly woman. Now remember, in America it’s poite to say
“hello” or “Good Afternoon” when passing strangers. Therefore, me being the
American that I am, I politely smiled and said “Jnapot kivanok” (I wish you
a good afternoon”) to the woman and she glared and looked at me like I was
insane! I was thinking in my head “What the heck?!? I was just trying to be
nice!” But then as I passed more and more people I realized… wait a second..
they don’t do that here! I was so embarrassed at the time, but now I just
look back and laugh. That was my first culture shock slap in the face.
Magyar is a language in itself; it’s unique, different, hard,
interesting. But I’m getting it.(: And I’m surprisingly learning it fast!
All of my friends and my family help me out with the language; my host
sisters will point out random objects and say what it is in Hungarian and
they make me repeat it until I pronounce it right. But it’s hard sometimes
to understand the words I do know because they talk so fast! And I have to
say”Lass! Lass!” This means “Slower! Slower!” I am beginning to be able to
actually put sentences together instead of talking like a three-year old.
But it’s hard because each Hungarian word changes form in each sentence,
depending on who you’re talking about, what you’re talking about, and when
and why you’re talking about it. But the language is not a huge struggle,
and my pronunciation of words is pretty good. I am so happy that I’m
understanding, speaking, and learning the language so fast.
Seven days… It takes seven days to break a habit. Seven days in a week.
It took seven days for me to fully adjust. It might sound weird but on that
seventh day of being here I could talk about my family without getting tears
in my eyes. On that seventh day I finally ate everything that was on my
plate… and more(: On that seventh day I didn’t get homesick’ I didn’t have
the urge to call my Mom and Dad. I had finally gotten into a routine with my
host family and on that seventh day I fully accepted everything that was new
and embraced it. And ever since that seventh day I can honestly say that I
am happy; happy to be in Hungary(: